Track History & Facts About the Belmont Stakes

The Belmont Stakes is right around the corner, and it signifies an end to the five weeks of racing that brings you the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes as the first two legs of the Triple Crown. There have only been 12 horses to win the Triple Crown since 2015 when American Pharaoh broke a 37 year dry spell.

This year we get the rare chance to potentially see history again with the odds-on favorite Justify having already won the first two legs of the Triple Crown.  Besides that exciting possibility, there are plenty of other interesting things that go along with this historic race. Here is a look at some facts about past Belmont Stakes, as well as this year’s edition.

Race Track Location, Date, Time & Length

Location – Belmont Park in Elmont, New York

Date –Saturday, June 9th

Distance – 1 ½ mile dirt track

Horses – 3-year-old thoroughbred colts and geldings

TV & Time – 6:37 PM ET on NBC

Race – 150th running, first ran in 1867, oldest of the Triple Crown races

Nickname – “Test of the Champions” and “Run for the Carnations”

Stretch Run – 1,097 feet from last turn to finish line

Crowd – Belmont Park can hold 90,000 fans including the infield, with seating for 32,941

Fastest Time – 2:24:00 held be Secretariat in 1973 (World Record for 1 ½ mile on dirt)

Biggest Win – 31 lengths held by Secretariat in 1973 (World Record for 1 ½ mile)

Last Years Champion – Tapwrit

Prize Money – $1,500,000

Interesting & Fun Facts About the Belmont Stakes

Trophy

The Belmont Stakes trophy is a Tiffany-made silver bowl measuring 18 inches high, 15 inches across and 14 inches at the base. A silver figure of Fenian, winner of the Belmont Stakes in 1869, sits atop the cover of the bowl, and the bowl itself is supported by three horses representing the three foundation Thoroughbreds; Eclipse, Herod and Matchem.

Post Race Traditions & Song

This is when the trophy is presented and when fans are encouraged to sing along to the theme from New York, New York. This is very similar to the singing of “Old Kentucky Home” at the Kentucky Derby and “Maryland, My Maryland” at the Preakness Stakes.  The winning horse is also draped in carnations, which explains the nickname “Run for the Carnations”.

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